John Bolton, who gets my vote for America’s best-ever ambassador to the United Nations (plus I love the mustache), describes how Rahm Emanuel’s never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste mentality will weaken the security of the United States, by devaluing the dollar and making us more dependent on financing from China and other countries that do not share our values. Key quote:
“If the administration continues these proposals for massive increases in federal expenditures, massive deficits, they’ve got to find a way to fund it, and it’s either through more government debt or printing money, both of which have the impact of reducing the value of the dollar.”
Yes, we’re in a crisis, and yes, that means we need to act on an emergency basis and take chances that we would not take in ordinary circumstances. For example, I’m persuaded that to keep the financial system from seizing up entirely, the government has to funnel a lot of money to a lot of people and organizations that “don’t deserve it.”
It helps make it easier to swallow if I remind myself that in most cases, the emergency funding is not a handout, but rather an investment (albeit a highly risky one). The American people own 80% of AIG, which not long ago was a stodgy, important, profitable business. If it can become one again, the American people will participate in its recovery.
But because of the unfortunate need to shovel money into risky ventures to keep the gears of commerce turning, this is exactly the wrong time to be shoveling even more money into risky attempts to remake the healthcare system and renovate planetary climate.
Certainly there are important and useful ways that the government can and should affect healthcare and climate/energy policy. But Ambassador Bolton is right — the more we spend, the more we will devalue the currency that for decades has been one of the most powerful symbols of “American exceptionalism,” which Bolton also riffs on in the video.
The 10-minute video is worth watching despite the conspiracy-theory posturing of host Glenn Beck. At least twice during the video, Beck asks rhetorical questions along the lines of, “am I crazy to think this?” Bolton then restates Beck’s thesis in less incendiary language, and withholds whatever opinion he may have about Beck’s craziness.